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Bering Sea storm pummels coastal town of Nome, Alaska.
A storm of "epic proportions" rocked Alaska last night with high winds, hurricane-like force and surging waves into coastal communities like that of Nome.
This is the strongest storm to hit the state in 40 years, the Associated Press reported.
The precipitation sent water levels rising late Wednesday night in Nome, causing flooding in low-lying areas, the National Weather Service said.
"It's barely beginning to wind down along the coast," Stephen Kearney, a meteorologist for the Weather Service in Fairbanks, said late Wednesday night.
While there are no reports of substantial damage in Nome, emergency officials warned that areas on Alaska's western coast between Norton Sound and Point Hope were vulnerable to a possible surge of sea water that could bring varying degrees of flooding to villages already soaked.
We do have some reports of buildings losing roofs in the Nome area," said meteorologist Scott Berg at the National Weather Service in Fairbanks, Fox News reported. "Also water at the base of buildings in Nome."
Nome is the largest town on Alaska's western coast and has a population of about 3,600.
"The sea level will remain steady into the early morning hours and then start to come down tomorrow morning," Kearney told the Anchorage Daily News.
While evacuations in Nome were voluntary, most residents from beachfront locations moved to shelters at a community center and church.
Check out the slideshow above of extreme weather in the United States in 2011.